A cave-in reportedly developed in an IHOP parking lot in Meridian, Mississippi.
At least seven cars were swallowed by the cave-in after it appeared on Nov. 7, according to WJTV. The Meridian Star, however, reported that as many as 12 cars were swallowed.
Officials are currently trying to determine what caused the 35-foot wide section of the restaurant’s parking lot to collapse.
Meridian Public Safety Director Buck Roberts said that engineers and contractors would be on site on Nov. 9 to determine the cause, though he declined to offer any opinion himself.
“I am not an engineer,” he told the Meridian Star. “It would just be speculation."
He added that while the incident could be called a cave-in or something along those lines, "it is not a sinkhole."
(The storm culvert which appears at the end of the cave-in. Photo Credit: Michael Stewart/Meridian Star)
(The cave-in at the parking lot. Photo Credit: Michael Stewart/Meridian Star)
(A car teetering on the edge of the 400-foot long cave-in. Photo Credit: Michael Stewart/Meridian Star)
Restaurant patron Gwendolyn Fikes, whose daughter’s Honda Accord was one of the cars swallowed by the cave-in, said the situation happened quickly.
“We'd been in there about three minutes,” Fikes said. “Then everything went black and we heard a boom."
The restaurant was subsequently closed for safety reasons and will reopen “as soon as it is safe,” according to Roberts.